By Lara Becker
On Thursday, my friend was in the burger line at the Brower Student Center waiting for her lunch. While she was waiting, she felt the hasty rush of someone too close, and before she knew it, the person stepped down on her left foot. Shaken and voice-cracking, my friend uttered a panicked, “Sorry!”
When she told me this story, my friend was even confused at herself. Why was her immediate reaction to apologize to someone who stepped on her foot?
From that moment on, I began to think about every time we say this word without really needing to. It seems like a tendency we end up brushing off and forgetting about, but I think it’s a part of something much bigger than that.
My friends always tell me that I’m too apologetic. Even when I’m not in the wrong, I feel the need to make up for it if I inconvenience someone in even the slightest way. Although I fail to see the issue with it in the moment, they explain to me that allowing this to happen produces a passive energy.
The act of apologizing is something we learn to do when we’re in kindergarten. These kinds of niceties were taught to us as a way to be polite and respectful. Although manners are certainly considerate in our everyday lives, this sort of mentality can become problematic when it inhibits the way we think.
As a sophomore this year, I’ve been trying to reteach my brain to think more highly of myself. My over-apologetic tendencies seem to stem from a place of low self-esteem, but this year I’ve been determined to change that.
Don’t apologize for what makes you whole or what makes you you. It can apply in small instances, but also in times of change or stress. We’re often told to minimize ourselves, to simply be a puzzle piece in this crazy world. You’re not just a puzzle piece –– you are important. You matter.
Find the courage within yourself to live life unapologetically, to live without regret and to live without being sorry.